Reinstated MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora has said he was left with no option but to write to Parliament ordering the recall of four top party MPs as they were leading other legislators into disregarding a Supreme Court ruling that nullified Nelson Chamisa's presidency.
On Tuesday, the Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Mudenda made a shock announcement that MPs Chalton Hwende, Prosper Mutseyami, Thabitha Khumalo, and Lilian Timveous were no longer sitting legislators as the party had recalled them following a request from Mwonzora.
However, Mwonzora in an interview with NewZimbabwe.com was adamant the recall was justified and also a formality as the affected MPs had already expelled themselves from the party by announcing they were MDC Alliance party members.
"It is because of what they actually did individually, these are leaders, Hwende was the secretary-general, Khumalo was the chairperson, Mutseyami was the chief whip in the House of Assembly and Timveous was the chief whip of Senate and these people knew better and they were the first to lead other MPs to disregard the constitution of the MDC-T," Mwonzora said.
"They made pronouncements that they were no longer members of the MDC-T but of the MDC Alliance party. The MDC-T was a member of the MDC Alliance yet they went on to say they formed the party in Gweru or so," said Mwonzora.
However, Mwonzora contested in the MDC Alliance electoral congress in 2019 for the position of secretary-general and lost to Hwende.
"They had automatically expelled themselves, your membership terminates automatically upon joining a new party according to the constitution of the MDC-T."
He told NewZimbabwe.com he took the decision after learning of plans to recall him together with Morgen Komichi from Senate. Komichi has since been reinstated as an MDC-T chairperson following the Supreme Court judgment.
Mwonzora and Komichi were reinstated last month when the Supreme Court ruled that Chamisa was an illegitimate President of the MDC-T. In the ruling, former Vice President Thokozani Khupe was made Acting President and ordered to organise an extraordinary congress within three months to elect a new president to replace the late founder leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.
Tsvangirai died in February 2018 and before his burial, Chamisa and Khupe were at each other's throats fighting for control of the party. Chamisa went on to win the battle while Khupe and a few senior party officials walked away in anger and formed a new political outfit that saw her contesting as party president in that year's national elections.
In the interview, Mwonzora also dismissed claims by senior MDC Alliance officials that President Emmerson Mnangagwa was behind the current leadership wrangle in the opposition party.
"Whenever these people lose something they blame it on Zanu PF, they blame it on someone else. They do not even think that we are intelligent enough to do something better, remember they tried to have us removed from Parliament, they did not succeed but we did.
"It is an old strategy, it is archaic, whenever you disagree with them and they cannot sustain an argument they always then say you are a sellout and coming from a lawyer as experienced as (Tendai) Biti is worrying.
"Biti knew they were not a political party and that there were documents to that effect, they do not even credit us with the ability to think and to think in a manner that will give us an advantage over them."
Before the recall of the four legislators, the MDC Alliance had 88 MPs in the House of Assembly and 25 Senators.